|Publication number||US7302497 B2|
|Application number||US 09/734,040|
|Publication date||Nov 27, 2007|
|Filing date||Dec 12, 2000|
|Priority date||Feb 8, 2000|
|Also published as||CN1422484A, CN100444592C, EP1269708A1, US20040010609, WO2001060023A1|
|Publication number||09734040, 734040, US 7302497 B2, US 7302497B2, US-B2-7302497, US7302497 B2, US7302497B2|
|Inventors||Harri Tapani Vilander, David Comstock, Krister Samuelson, Bo Jerker Karlander|
|Original Assignee||Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (18), Classifications (10), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit and priority of U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/181,083, filed Feb. 8, 2000, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains to telecommunications, and particularly to using Internet Protocol (IP) with and/or in a radio access network (RAN).
2. Related Art and Other Considerations
In a typical cellular radio system, mobile user equipment units (UEs) communicate via a radio access network (RAN) to one or more core networks. The user equipment units (UEs) can be mobile stations such as mobile telephones (“cellular” telephones) and laptops with mobile termination, and thus can be, for example, portable, pocket, hand-held, computer-included, or car-mounted mobile devices which communicate voice and/or data with radio access network.
The radio access network (RAN) covers a geographical area which is divided into cell areas, with each cell area being served by a base station. The base stations communicate over the air interface (e.g., radio frequencies) with the user equipment units (UE) within range of the base stations. In the radio access network, several base stations are typically connected (e.g., by landlines or microwave) to a radio network controller (RNC). The radio network controller, also sometimes termed a base station controller (BSC), supervises and coordinates various activities of the plural base stations connected thereto. The radio network controllers are typically connected to the one or more core networks.
One example of a radio access network is the Universal Mobile Telecommunications (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN). The UTRAN is a third generation system which is in some respects builds upon the radio access technology known as Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) developed in Europe. UTRAN is essentially a wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) system.
As those skilled in the art appreciate, in W-CDMA technology a common frequency band allows simultaneous communication between a user equipment unit (UE) and plural base stations. Signals occupying the common frequency band are discriminated at the receiving station through spread spectrum CDMA waveform properties based on the use of a high speed, pseudo-noise (PN) code. These high speed PN codes are used to modulate signals transmitted from the base stations and the user equipment units (UEs). Transmitter stations using different PN codes (or a PN code offset in time) produce signals that can be separately demodulated at a receiving station. The high speed PN modulation also allows the receiving station to advantageously generate a received signal from a single transmitting station by combining several distinct propagation paths of the transmitted signal. In CDMA, therefore, a user equipment unit (UE) need not switch frequency when handoff of a connection is made from one cell to another. As a result, a destination cell can support a connection to a user equipment unit (UE) at the same time the origination cell continues to service the connection. Since the user equipment unit (UE) is always communicating through at least one cell during handover, there is no disruption to the call. Hence, the term “soft handover.” In contrast to hard handover, soft handover is a “make-before-break” switching operation.
The Universal Mobile Telecommunications (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) accommodates both circuit switched and packet switched connections. In this regard, in UTRAN the circuit switched connections involve a radio network controller (RNC) communicating with a mobile switching center (MSC), which in turn is connected to a connection-oriented, external core network, which may be (for example) the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and/or the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). On the other hand, in UTRAN the packet switched connections involve the radio network controller communicating with a Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) which in turn is connected through a backbone network and a Gateway GPRS support node (GGSN) to packet-switched networks (e.g., the Internet, X.25 external networks)
There are several interfaces of interest in the UTRAN. The interface between the radio network controllers (RNCs) and the core network(s) is termed the “Iu” interface. The circuit switched aspects of the Iu Interface are termed the “Iu-CS” Interface; the packet switched aspects of the Iu Interface are termed the “Iu-PS” Interface. The interface between a radio network controller (RNC) and its base stations (BSs) is termed the “Iub” interface. In some instances, a connection involves both a Source RNC (SRNC) and a Drift RNC (DRNC), with the SRNC controlling the connection but with one or more diversity legs of the connection being handling by the DRNC (see, in this regard, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/035,821 filed Mar. 6, 1998, entitled “Telecommunications Inter-Exchange Measurement Transfer”; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/035,788 filed Mar. 6, 1998, entitled “Telecommunications Inter-Exchange Congestion Control”). The interface between a SRNC and a DRNC is termed the “Iur” interface.
A project known as the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has undertaken to evolve further the UTRAN and GSM-based radio access network technologies. A user plane protocol for 3GPP-99 is illustrated in
As apparent from
A protocol reference model has been developed for illustrating layering of ATM. The protocol reference model layers include (from lower to higher layers) a physical layer (including both a physical medium sublayer and a transmission convergence sublayer), an ATM layer, and an ATM adaptation layer (AAL), and higher layers. The basic purpose of the AAL layer is to isolate the higher layers from specific characteristics of the ATM layer by mapping the higher-layer protocol data units (PDU) into the information field of the ATM cell and vise versa. There are several differing AAL types or categories, including AAL0, AAL1, AAL2, AAL3/4, and AAL5. Yet another AAL type, known as AAL2 prime, is described in the following (all of which are incorporated herein by reference: U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/188,102, filed Nov. 9, 1998; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/188,347, filed Nov. 9, 1998; and International Patent Application Number PCT/SE98/02250 (WO 99/33315, published Jul. 1, 1999).
AAL2 is a standard defined by ITU recommendation 1.363.2. An AAL2 packet comprises a three octet packet header, as well as a packet payload. The AAL2 packet header includes an eight bit channel identifier (CID), a six bit length indicator (LI), a five bit User-to-User indicator (UUI), and five bits of header error control (HEC). The AAL2 packet payload, which carries user data, can vary from one to forty-five octets
An object of the present invention, in one aspect, is utilization of Internet Protocol in lieu of the ATM protocol in the user plane protocol stacks for various interfaces (e.g., Iu-CS Interface, Iur Interface, and Iub Interface) of a radio access network such as UTRAN, and in another aspect is provision of a new transport network layer protocol usable on these interfaces as well as on the Iu-PS Interface.
A telecommunications system has a protocol architecture over an interface between nodes of the telecommunications system, the protocol architecture including Internet Protocol as a protocol above a link layer protocol. The protocol architecture can be used over one or more of several interfaces, including the interface between a radio access network and a core network [Iu Interface]; the interface between radio network controllers (RNCs) and the base stations (BSs) served thereby [Iub Interface]; and the interface between RNCs (e.g., between a Source RNC (SRNC) and a Drift RNC (DRNC)) [Iur Interface].
Several implementations of the protocol architecture for the Iu-CS Interface, the Iur Interface, and the Iub Interface are disclosed. In a first implementation, the user plane protocol stack of the protocol architecture in the transport layer comprises the link layer protocol; the Internet Protocol on top of the link layer protocol; UDP Protocol on top of the Internet Protocol; and higher layers. In one technique associated with this first implementation, in the Internet Protocol a sequence number is carried in one of an IP option field and a Ipv6 extension header, the sequence number being used for rearranging incoming IP datagrams. In this technique, UDP port numbers are used as connection identifiers. In another technique for the first implementation, UDP/IP is employed, but the frame handling protocol of the upper layers rearranges in-coming frames over the interface, e.g., the frame handling protocol is modified to include a sequence number field and identifier used for rearranging incoming frames.
In a second implementation, the user plane protocol stack of the protocol architecture in the transport layer comprises the link layer protocol; the Internet Protocol on top of the link layer protocol; UDP Protocol on top of the Internet Protocol; and a wholly new protocol, herein denominated as the “XTP Protocol”, on top of the UDP Protocol. Higher layers are on top of the XTP Protocol. In the XTP Protocol, each XTP packet has a connection identifier and a sequence number and a payload. The payload comprises upper layer protocols, e.g., frame handling and user plane data. In one mode of the implementation plural user plane data frames (e.g., speech frames) are multiplexed in one IP datagram.
In a third implementation, the user plane protocol stack of the protocol architecture in the transport layer comprises the link layer protocol; the Internet Protocol on top of the link layer protocol; UDP Protocol on top of the Internet Protocol; UAL2 Protocol on top of the UDP Protocol; and higher layers. The UAL2 protocol essentially resembles the AAL2 Protocol, but each UAL2-PDU carries an integer number of AAL2 packets (no fractional AAL2 packets). Also, UAL2 contains sequence numbers for facilitating in-sequence delivery.
In a fourth implementation, the user plane protocol stack of the protocol architecture in the transport layer comprises the link layer protocol; the Internet Protocol on top of the link layer protocol; UDP Protocol on top of the Internet Protocol; RTP Protocol on top of the UDP Protocol; and higher layers. In accordance with one variation of the fourth implementation, in the RTP Protocol one synchronization source (SSRC) identifier is allocated to each circuit switched connection between two nodes over the involved interface (e.g., between the node in the radio access network and the node in the core network for the Iu Interface). In accordance with one variation of the fourth implementation, the RTP Protocol compresses plural RTP packets in an IP datagram.
The new XTP Protocol which is an aspect of the invention can also be used in a protocol stack for a Iu-PS (packet switched) Interface implementation. In this Iu-PS (packet switched) Interface implementation, the user plane protocol stack of the protocol architecture in the transport layer comprises the link layer protocol; the Internet Protocol on top of the link layer protocol; UDP Protocol on top of the Internet Protocol; XTP Protocol on top of the UDP Protocol; and higher layers.
The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the various views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.
In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth such as particular architectures, interfaces, techniques, etc. in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. In other instances, detailed descriptions of well known devices, circuits, and methods are omitted so as not to obscure the description of the present invention with unnecessary detail.
As understood by those skilled in the art, when user equipment unit 20 participates in a mobile telephonic connection, signaling information and user information from user equipment unit 20 are transmitted over air interface 23 on designated radio channels to one or more of the base stations 22. The base stations have radio transceivers which transmit and receive radio signals involved in the connection or session. For information on the uplink from the user equipment unit 20 toward the other party involved in the connection, the base stations convert the radio-acquired information to digital signals which are forwarded to the appropriate radio network controller (RNC) 24.
A certain controlling radio network controller (RNC), known as the Source RNC (SRNC), orchestrates participation of the plural base stations 22 which may be involved in the connection or session, since user equipment unit 20 may be geographically moving and handover may be occurring relative to the base stations 22. Some of those base stations may be associated with a radio network controller (RNC) other than the Source RNC, the other such non-Source RNCs being denominated a Drift RNC or DRNC. In the particular example of
The telecommunications system of
The Iu Interface is shown between the core networks 19 and the RNCs (e.g., SRNC 24, and DRNC 24 2). The Iur Interface exists between the source radio network controller (RNC) 24 1 and the drift radio network controller (RNC) 24 2. The Iub Interface exists between the RNCs and the base stations 22. As shown in
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, one or more of the interfaces Iu-CS, Iur, and Iub has Internet Protocol (IP) as a protocol above a link layer protocol. More particularly, in some example implementations of the present invention the Internet Protocol (IP) is in a transport layer immediately above the link layer protocol. In this regard, in terms of 3GPP parlance, the Internet Protocol (IP) of the present invention belongs to the transport network layer, but could be considered to be in another layer in another model of protocol architecture (e.g., in the network layer in the IETF protocol architecture).
Example implementations of the protocol stacks of the present invention include higher protocols (which can be stacked on the Internet Protocol (IP) of the user plane protocol stacks 100, 101, and 102 of
In view of the description herein of example implementations of user plane protocol stacks relative to the Iu-CS Interface, brief discussion is first provided regarding certain aspects of the radio network controller (RNC) 24 generally. An example and representative radio network controller (RNC) 24 is shown in
The radio network controller (RNC) 24 additionally includes functionality for terminating/handling user plane data protocols. In this regard,
It should be understood, however, that the RNC structure shown in
For the Iu-CS Interface, in the ensuing embodiments Ethernet is used as an non-limiting example of an appropriate link layer technology. The person skilled in the art will understand that Ethernet is just one example of suitable link layer technologies, other examples being Internet Protocol (IP) over Sonet, or Internet Protocol (IP) over SDH. Ethernet is appropriate for the link layer technology when the nodes are sufficiently close together. If the distance between nodes is great enough, a wide area network (WAN) link layer technology should be used. For the Iub Interface, existing point-to-point links may be re-used, so that the link layer may be, e.g., PPP, for example.
It will be appreciated that the present invention uses a link layer protocol (e.g., Ethernet) and the Internet Protocol (IP) to replace the ATM and AAL2 protocols, respectively, of
Those skilled in the art understand that UDP is a simple datagram protocol which is layered directly above the Internet Protocol (IP). UDP address formats are identical to those used by the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Like TCP, UDP uses a port number along with an IP address to identify the endpoint of communication. The UDP port number space is separate from the TCP port number space (that is, a UDP port may not be “connected” to a TCP port).
The user plane protocol stack 100-3 of the
Another technique for the
The example implementation of
In the user plane protocol stack 100-4, the ATM and AAL2 protocols of the conventional arrangement have been replaced with four protocols: an appropriate link layer protocol (e.g., Ethernet), the IP Protocol, the UDP Protocol, and a wholly new protocol, herein termed the “XTP Protocol”. Thus, the user plane protocol stack 100-4 of the protocol architecture in the transport network layer for the
The new XTP Protocol of the present invention is the inventors' own development. Therefore, the new XTP Protocol of the present invention is not to be confused with other protocols that may bear a similar acronym (such as the Express Transport Protocol, for example).
The new XTP Protocol is a user plane protocol that is located in the protocol stack between the UDP/IP and Frame Handling Protocols (see stack 100-4 in
The payload of the XTP packet 142 comprises upper layer protocols, e.g., frame handling and user plane data. In the
The new XTP Protocol of the present invention has various implementation alternatives. A first implementation alternative is to use the connection identifier field 144 for its stated purpose of identifying a connection. But as a second implementation alternative, UDP ports can be used as connection identifiers. In this second implementation alternative, every user plane flow uses its own (dedicated) UDP port number. As a third implementation alternative, the Frame Handling Protocol can be modified much in the manner as above described with reference to
In-sequence delivery using the new XTP Protocol can also be facilitated with various implementation alternatives. A first such implementation alternative respecting in-sequence delivery is to use the sequence number field 145 (see
In terms of its optional multiplexing, the new XTP Protocol features two methods. The two methods can be utilized simultaneously, if desired. A first method involves multiplexing on the XTP Protocol level above the Internet Protocol (IP), as illustrated with reference to
With the new XTP Protocol of the present invention, the radio network layer is not affected. Moreover, the XTP Protocol provides the flexibility of using either its connection identifiers (i.e., connection identifier field 144) or UDP port fields to carry connection identification information. Further, the new XTP Protocol includes sequence numbers, facilitating in-sequence delivery.
It should be understood that the
The UAL2 Protocol, known as the “UDP Adaptation Layer for AAL2 Compatibility”, is intended to provide the same service as the AAL2 CPS and uses the same packet format as AAL2 CPS. However, as shown in
As shown in
The RTP (Real-Time Transport) Protocol provides end-to-end networking transport functions suitable for applications transmitting real-time data. The RTP data transport is augmented by a control protocol (RTCP) to allow monitoring of the data delivery and to provide minimal control and identification functionality. The RTP and RTCP are designed to be independent of the underlying transport and network layers.
The general format of an RTP packet 160 is illustrated in
Some underlying protocols may require an encapsulation of the RTP packet to be defined. Typically, one packet of the underlying protocol contains a single RTP packet, but several RTP packets may be contained if permitted by the encapsulation method. An RTCP packet comprises a fixed header part similar to that of the RTP data packets, followed by structured elements that vary depending upon the RTCP packet type. The RTP depends on the lower-layer protocols to provide some mechanism such as ports to multiplex the RTP and RTCP packets of a session. It is the combination of a network address and port that identifies a transport-level endpoint, for example an IP address and a UDP port. RTP packets are transmitted from a source transport address to a destination transport address. For each participant, an RTP session is defined by a particular pair of destination transport addresses (one network address pair for RTP and RTCP).
The synchronization source (SSRC) identifier 166 is a thirty-two bit field, which is required by RTP to be selected randomly with the intent that no two sources within the same RTP session (defined by the combination of IP address and UDP port) have the same SSRC identifier. In RTP, all packets from a synchronization source form part of the same timing and sequence number space, so a receiver groups packets by synchronization source for playback.
The RTP implementation of
As illustrated generally in
It is possible to allocate an IP address for every device board (e.g., each RLC board or UPP board in an RNC node). Using this alternative, every RLC device board takes care of generating inner RTP/UDP/IP packets, and another board in the node or in a separate node takes care of RTP multiplexing.
In another variation in which SSRC fields are not used to separate users, different UDP ports are used for different circuit switched connections (e.g., different user plane data flows).
Four example implementations of one aspect of the present invention have been described above. The present invention is not limited those these four example implementations. For example, other protocols can be used in conjunction with the invention's use of the Internet Protocol (IP) on the Iu-CS Interface, the Iur Interface, and the Iub Interface. For example, the present invention can also be used with the GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation) protocol being above the Internet Protocol (IP) in the protocol stack architecture of the present invention.
As another aspect of the present invention,
Usage of the Internet Protocol (IP)-based protocol stacks of the invention involves an Internet Protocol (IP)-terminating board, device, or unit at a participating node (e.g., the radio network controller (RNC) 24 and MSC in the case of the Iu-CS Interface). In some hardware implementations, such Internet Protocol (IP)-terminating apparatus can be an extension terminal (ET) or interface unit. After termination of the Internet Protocol (IP), other protocols in the stack can be handled by one or more other boards or devices at the node. For example, in connection with the second implementation described with reference to
As an alternative hardware implementation, the Internet Protocol (IP) can be terminated at a board other than an extension (ET) board or interface. For example, with reference to the second implementation illustrated by
While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||709/249, 370/395.52, 709/250|
|International Classification||G06F15/16, H04L12/56, H04W80/00, H04W92/04|
|Cooperative Classification||H04W80/00, H04W92/04|
|Aug 7, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (PUBL), SWEDEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VILANDER, HARRI TAPANI;COMSTOCK, DAVID;SAMUELSON, KRISTER;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013172/0635;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010105 TO 20010108
|Oct 14, 2008||CC||Certificate of correction|
|May 27, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|May 27, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8